Acción mundial de lucha contra el gusano cogollero del maíz

China, Ghana and Kenya team up in a sustainable fall armyworm management project, through South-South cooperation

28 March 2023

Photo @FAO/J. Othieno


Nairobi, 15 March 2023 - More than 30 participants joined the inception meeting for the project “Strengthening inter-regional cooperation for sustainable management of fall armyworm through South-South cooperation” in Nairobi on 15 March 2023. The meeting, conducted in hybrid mode, included members of National Task Forces under FAO’s Global Action for Fall Armyworm Control and technical partners from China, Ghana and Kenya. 

The new project aims to strengthen the capacity of these countries for early detection of fall armyworm (FAW), monitoring for action, and sustainable management of FAW, particularly in the context of smallholders. This objective will be achieved primarily through the exchange of knowledge, experience, technical and financial resources related to FAW control among the three countries.

The project contributes directly to the Global Action, an initiative launched by FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu in 2019 to provide a coordination platform for efforts by FAO and partners to mitigate the impact of FAW. The Global Action has worked to ensure a strong coordinated approach at country, regional and global levels, working with a wide range of resource partners including the European Commission and Norway.

The FAW pest, long a scourge of maize and other cereal crops in the Americas, was first reported outside its native range in 2016. The pest has now been reported in 79 countries across Africa, the Near East and Asia.

Mr Jingyuan Xia, Director of FAO's Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP), opened the meeting by reminding participants that even as the Global Action was being implemented, and as the FAW pest continued its spread across the globe, the dynamics of its populations were found to be predictable and thus, manageable.

As the inception meeting took stock of progress of implementation of FAW management in China, Ghana and Kenya, Mr Zhengyin Wang from the Institute of Plant Protection – Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) provided an update on technologies available for FAW management and monitoring. Participants identified needs and gaps for each target country and initiated a draft for country work plans. FAW monitoring and early warning, bio-ecology-based integrated pest management (IPM) techniques and technologies, capacity enhancement for  farmers and other stakeholders were identified as primary areas of collaboration among the three countries. In his closing remarks, Mr Xia encouraged the countries to develop a strong network to exchange and scale-up technical solutions for sustainable FAW management.

The inception meeting was followed by field visits by FAO and government partners from Kenya to Bungoma County, one of the counties identified as a focal site for the project. At Mabanga Agricultural Training Center (ATC) of Bungoma County, Mr Xia and Ms Monicah Fedha, the County Executive Committee member (Minister) of Agriculture, Livestock,  Irrigation, Fisheries, and Cooperative Development, viewed  the ground preparation for a 3.5 ha technology evaluation field. There, bio-ecology IPM practices will be evaluated scientifically under the aegis of the South-South cooperation project. 

Later,  they visited farmer field school (FFS) groups in Kenya’s Webuye West sub-county in Misikhu ward and Kabuchai sub-county in West Nalondo ward where capacity enhancement at the farmer level will be conducted, incorporating the results of IPM practice evaluation at Mabanga ATC. The visits provided a window into the needs and the eagerness of all stakeholders, from national to county to farmer levels, to collaborate in managing FAW sustainably.